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Odds, Probability, and Chances in iGaming

Updated 31 may 2023
Online casino
Author: James Burton

When engaging in wagering entertainment, it is vital to figure out the explanations of odds, probability, and chances. While these terms are often used mutually, they possess distinct meanings that can significantly impact the approach to wagering.

Odds, probability, and chances: basic info

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Gambling Industry: Basic Terms

The coefficients provided by bookmakers or casinos are designed to give them an edge and ensure long-term profitability. Analysing the odds, probability, and potential risks is crucial for every wagering operator and player.


They refer to the possibility of a particular situation occurring. The wagering term also describes the ratio of the payout to the stake if that event happens.

Coefficients can be expressed in 3 main formats:

  • Decimal odds. They represent the potential payout per unit stake, including the original bid. For example, if the odds are 2.50, it means that for every unit a gambler bets, he could potentially win 2.50 items in addition to an original stake.
  • Fractional odds. This model is commonly used in the UK and Ireland. The coefficients are represented as a portion — the numerator shows the potential income, and the denominator displays the stake. For instance, if the fraction is 5/1, a punter could win 5 units in addition to an original bet.
  • Moneyline odds. The format is popular in the United States and is represented by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign. Positive moneyline odds indicate the potential profit on a 100-unit stake, while negative ones display the bet required to win 100 items

The term signifies a measure of the possibility of a situation happening. It is typically shown as a fraction, percentage, or odds.

The concept is based on various aspects, such as:

  • the rules of the game;
  • the number of possible results;
  • the statistical analysis of past information.

In many amusements, the probability of a consequence can be calculated the following:

  • When rolling a fair six-sided die, the possibility of getting a specific number is 1 out of 6, or 1/6, since there are 6 equally likely results.
  • Another example is the likelihood of drawing a red card from a deck is 1/2, which means a 50% chance of success.

In some games, the calculation becomes more involved due to the presence of multiple variables, such as the skills of players. So mathematical models, statistical analysis, and historical data may be used to evaluate the possibility.

The probability does not ensure a particular result. The actual consequence of a specific bet or game can still vary due to chance, luck, or other unpredictable factors


In the wagering sphere, they refer to the likelihood of winning or losing a bid or match.

The prospects are influenced by several factors, such as:

  • the rules of the game;
  • the specific bets being placed;
  • the inherent randomness;
  • a skill involved in the activity.

While not as precise as probability, the term conveys a sense of uncertainty and is generally more informal.

  • In games of pure chance, such as slot machines or roulette, the prospects are entirely determined by the mechanics and the laws of probability. For instance, the chances of winning on a single-figure bet are 1 in 38 in American roulette.
  • In amusements that involve both skill and chance, such as poker or blackjack, the prospects can vary depending on the decisions and actions of the player

The Main Things about Basic Gambling Terms

Gambling business terms: key notions

Odds, probability, and chances are interconnected concepts, each offering a unique perspective on the likelihood of specific results in gambling.

  • Probability serves as a precise measure, aiding in statistical analysis and decision-making.
  • Odds offer a ratio that quantifies the connection of potential outcomes.
  • Chances although more informal, bridge the gap between probability and everyday conversations, allowing individuals to discuss likelihoods without delving into complex calculations.

Recognising favourable coefficients and possibilities can guide the selection of bets, enabling punters to maximise their opportunities for success.

By comprehending the relationship among odds, probability, and chances, operators can build an efficient strategy and potentially increase enjoyment and success for players.

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